10 Popular and Pesky New Year Resolutions

The year of 2018 came to a rather disappointing close as my slightly sleep deprived friends munched on potato chips and argued about the long forgotten lyrics of “Auld Lang Syne”.

As intellectual stimulation seemed stagnant, I shifted my attention to my annual act of writing a ludicrously long list of New Year resolutions that will most surely perfect my life in the future. As the ink dries on my crumpled sheet of notebook paper, the future seems bright, fresh, new. I almost forget that I failed to fulfill any of these lofty, elusive goals last year, and the year before, and the year before.

I imagine this feeling is familiar to many Americans. The list of the most popular New Year Resolutions consists of persistent, pesky goals that will undoubtedly appear year after year, decade after decade. It’s likely that they have found a prominent place on your list as well.

1. Lose weight.

This is far from surprising as America has been infamously labeled one of the fattest countries in the world. Given that roughly 190 countries exist on Earth, we have an impressive reputation known far and wide (pun fully intended). As hordes of hungry Americans snack on celery stalks and salad greens, losing weight soon seems an insurmountable task. This readily explains this resolution’s tendency to top the list.

2. Drink Less Alcohol.

As Americans vow to slash the fat from their diets, many also look to decrease their alcohol intake. The two appear intimately related as alcohol is often high in calories despite countless efforts to lighten the nutritional cost, while balancing a heavy emphasis on full flavor. However, this resolution also has an ominous feel as I recall prohibition (admittedly an extreme form of this resolution) was largely a failure. Either way, if successful, your liver will thank you, whether your sanity will too is up for debate.

3. Save more money.

Given the dire state of the economy, this resolution is expected and even more meaningful than in past years. Unfortunately, given rising costs and increasingly desperate living situations for many Americans, this resolution will remain one of the most difficult on the list.

4. Get a better job.

With unemployment at a painful high, this resolution reflects the hope for a better beginning and a more profitable year. Confined to a cubicle for far too long, many seek six-figure paychecks while others pine for self-employment. Regardless of the aim, we never tire of the American dream, leaving this resolution strongly rooted in its popularity and opting for payday loans for the unemployed from companies like Matched Loans.

5. Get a better education.

Not necessarily synonymous with the previous pursuit, this goal is perhaps a more difficult ordeal than any cabbage soup diet or strict budget plan. A time-consuming endeavor, this collective wish to achieve a higher degree fills out the ranks of colleges everywhere, if only temporarily.

6. Manage debt.

Paid programming and cheap commercials exploit this admirable desire of many Americans to cut their crippling credit card debt. To finally conquer this resolution requires steering clear of tempting scams and not springing for that new HDTV. Decisions, decisions.

7. Quit smoking.

This resolution actually transcends the singularly selfish nature of the list when considering the effects of secondhand smoke. Though there is nothing wrong with bettering one’s health, if you can’t do this for you, at least do it for your kids, your friend, your lover, your parents. Or all of them.

8. Take a trip.

This resolution has the beneficial quality of being incredibly vague. Without specifying an exotic locale, it can merely become a trip to the restroom or to work. Finally, fulfillment can ensue.

9. Help others.

Alas, another selfless goal surfaces. Perhaps near the end of our resolution writing it becomes abundantly clear that this extensive outline has somehow solely become about one person among billions, without considering the larger picture.

10. Reduce stress.

An affliction of every American, stress is a destructive force that forces us to overanalyze our imperfections and creates written records that detail every shortcoming of our lives. Don’t stress about this one. Seriously.

Despite my apparent pessimism, I actually enjoy the New Year. The concept of a fresh start is infectious and promising. But, upon this article, I discovered that my crumpled list should become even more rumpled and tossed into the trash can.

Echoing years of unaccomplished resolutions will never let me utilize a blank slate.

Instead, it is to be promptly replaced with a more manageable, succinct wish: Do what makes me and those I love truly happy, rather than chasing after a nonexistent state of perfection. Judging by the cyclical and predictable nature of this list, perhaps America should resolve to do the same.